Hadleigh Farm Olympic mountain bike course: Legacy work begins

  • 8 March 2014
  • From the section Essex
Hadleigh Farm, Essex, London 2012 Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The London 2012 mountain bike track overlooks the Thames estuary near Southend

Work has begun on a £6.8m project at an Olympic venue in Essex with the aim of opening it to the public.

A visitor hub and new cycling trails are being created at Hadleigh Farm near Southend, where the London 2012 mountain bike events were held.

The Salvation Army will run a cafe and family resource centre on the site, offering training for people with special educational needs.

The 'Essex Legacy' project is expected to take a year to complete.

The Olympic mountain bike track was built at the country park site at a cost of about £800,000 for 2012, but it is not yet open to the public.

Image copyright Essex County Council
Image caption The centre will have a cafe, bike workshop and classrooms

Walks and gentler cycling trails are also being created at the site.

'About to deliver'

David Brittney, a volunteer with the 200-member Hadleigh Mountain Bike Club, said: "There are so many places after the Olympics that are derelict that it's nice to keep the momentum going.

"There's a big community of riders that want to come down and use it, so the sooner it's open the better."

The new Hub includes a bike shop and workshop, rangers' offices, car park and children's play area.

Essex County Council is spending £4.7m on it, with the rest coming from other funding sources.

Councillor Ann Naylor, cabinet member for public health, said: "We promised that the Olympic course would be open to all and that's what we're about to deliver."

Beverley Egan, community services director for the Salvation Army, said: "We will be continuing to work to remove barriers disadvantaged people face in gaining employment as well as contributing to the area by providing a first-class tourist attraction."

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